The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will be funding 40 alternative manure management projects throughout the state. The $21.6 million in grant funding is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on dairies and livestock operations. The CDFA’s Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) looks to lower emission levels by employing manure management techniques aside from dairy digestors.
Livestock manure creates the GHG methane when it is allowed to decompose in wet conditions. By addressing these emissions coming from dairies and other livestock operations California moves further toward the goal of reducing overall methane emissions to 40 percent below levels recorded in 2013, by the year 2030. “I am excited to see the diversity of non-digester manure management practices among these projects to help meet the state’s climate goals,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release. “This is the innovation that California farmers are renowned for.”
Some of the alternative manure management projects that have been awarded grant funding include converting flush lanes to a vacuum scrape system and the installation of a manure separation system. Some of the most beneficial flush-to-scrape grant recipients will be reducing their annual production of GHG between 60 and 83 percent. The installation of just two manure separation systems, one in Merced County and another in Stanislaus County, will reduce GHG emissions by the equivalent of 39,885 metric tons of carbon dioxide over five years.
Other projects that are being funded through the program include the construction of compost bedded pack barns. This pasture-based management program will lead to a decrease in the amount of manure flushed into anaerobic lagoons and reduce GHG emissions, odor, and dust produced by current systems. Compost bedded pack barns will also contribute to better animal health.
AMMP is a part of California Climate Investments, an initiative that takes some of the money collected as part of the Cap-and-Trade program to invest in clean technologies to work towards California’s climate goals. Recipients of AMMP grants will be matching approximately $2.7 million in funding in the development of the approved projects.